CONVERSATIONS AT THE SANCTUARY: Going Deep Into Rest
“We often confuse rest with exhaustion or sleep,” says Restorative Yoga teacher, Jeremy Lim. “We all sleep every night, but that does not teach our body and mind to relax.” He shares more about Resting Conversation®, a gentle and healing practice of deep relaxation
Many of us live fast-paced lives which have us rushing from one thing to another without proper rest. And yet, even when we are in pain, it’s not uncommon to hear, “I’m fine! I don’t need to rest.” And herein lies the irony: those of us who are in the habit of saying this, are usually the ones who need it most.
“In this fast-paced, achievement- and productivity-oriented society, many of us function in ‘fight, flight, or freeze mode daily to various degrees. Over time, we accumulate layers and layers of habitual tension,” explains Jeremy Lim, who teaches Restorative Yoga at The Yoga School. “The body encodes stress and tension as a normal state of daily operation, and forgets what relaxation or being deeply relaxed, feels like. We then collapse in exhaustion, thinking that that’s the same thing. Or we fall into the trap of thinking that only via exhaustion (or sleep) can we finally experience relaxation.
“Valuing deep rest in this fast-paced world is the best thing you can do to take care of your own wellbeing,” says Jeremy, who founded Resting Conversation®, a practice that focuses on being more and doing less. He shares more about this Restorative Yoga practice that allows practitioners to be held in ways that allow props to take over completely, enabling access into a deeply restful state.
QN: Please tell us about Resting Conversation® – how is it different from other yoga classes and what are its key benefits?
JEREMY: The body and mind’s natural state of being is one of equanimity and well-being. Because of our busy lives, we find often ourselves being drawn further and further away from this tranquillity within, and experiencing less and less of our own internal balance and peace.
Resting Conversation® has roots in the psychological science of relaxation, principles of Ayurveda, mindfulness practices, and restorative yoga. It is a practice that helps you to return to, and be fully present, in this organic and effortless state of inner spaciousness and harmony. It is an experiential journey into your ability to consciously move past layers of tension and stress, to access the deep well of peace and well-being which already exists within you.
QN: Do I need to be a seasoned yoga practitioner to attend this class?
JEREMY: Resting Conversation® is a practice that’s excellent for relieving stress, general tension, and exhaustion. It’s also great for anyone looking for deep relaxation. It does not matter if you are a seasoned yoga practitioner or have never tried yoga.
QN: What can I look forward to in a Resting Conversation® class?
JEREMY: Resting Conversation® teaches deep relaxation and calms the nervous system. The practice builds awareness on where we hold tension, and creates fuller and deeper breaths to soften the tension. It is different from other yoga practices that are movement-based; where the focus is to stretch and/or strengthen; and which use relatively fewer props. Resting Conversation® is an extremely gentle practice with much longer holds that culminate in a state of deep relaxation – every part of the body is impeccably supported by blankets, bolsters, chairs, straps, and blocks.
There are six main groups of poses practiced during a Resting Conversation® class — forward bends, back bends, twists, side body openers, inversions, and Savasana. All these poses are done with much gentler/lesser intensity than in a dynamic Hatha or Vinyasa class. For instance, in a Resting Conversation® class, inversion poses such as Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall pose) or headstands are done with the support of many props to open the body. They are also held for longer durations than in a dynamic yoga asana class, or even a Yin yoga class.
The Resting Conversation® XXL Edition workshop at The Yoga School extends a regular hour-long class by offering two hours of restorative bliss, elevating you into the fullest and sweetest experience of blissful calm.
QN: What if I’m really exhausted and fall asleep during the class – is that okay?
JEREMY: I get the question on falling asleep quite a lot. There is a reason why you are feeling exhausted – it is a feedback that your body has, perhaps, been trying to convey to you. In fact, this class type is also probably one of the few classes with attendees that actually ever sleep (well).
Don’t be afraid to fall asleep in this class – don’t let that fear deter you from attending a practice of rest that your body and mind may be craving for. If you need sleep, let it happen rather than fight it. Over long term practice, however, I encourage students to observe the body going to sleep, and the mind ever-consciously watching the entire process.
QN: Resting Conversation® has its roots in Restorative Yoga, and incorporates mindfulness practices as well –how do all the elements come together for deep relaxation and enhanced wellbeing?
JEREMY: Each posture in the Resting Conversation® practice serves as an enquiry: how do we set up our props to offer profound support and optimal comfort? With this enquiry approach, we remain present, mindful in the moment, and self-adjusting along the way. The same posture today may require a slightly different set up from yesterday or last week. A blanket that is moved a few centimetres here or there can make a world of difference. We create for ourselves a practice that is responsive to what is being presented in each moment, always moving us towards balance, ease, and a state of deep relaxation. Our breath then becomes freer, and more at ease. It returns back to a more natural flow with a relaxed breathing pattern.
ABOUT JEREMY LIM
An advocate for refining the art of living, Jeremy is deeply passionate about health, healing, and happiness. His purpose in yoga is to curate an experience that has a greater benefit for modern day living, off the yoga mat.
Jeremy embarked on his yoga journey in 2014 as an activity to help calm the over-active mind and break away from a physically inactive lifestyle. It has since evolved into a journey of constant self-discovery, one that opens up the mind and challenges the body. Most importantly, he has experienced major transformation in his wellbeing and now finds himself more joyful and at peace with questions of existentiality and contentment. The breathing practices in yoga have also alleviated his allergic rhinitis symptoms.
Jeremy’s work aims to empower people to navigate every moment of their lives with an underlying sense of inner peace and joy. This offering, towards greater love and self-awareness and a better relationship with oneself, is a journey he invites you on.
Ready for 2 hours of restorative bliss? Join Jeremy in the Resting Conversation XXL Edition workshop on 14th December 2019. Click here to find out more and reserve a mat!